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iPhone unlocking: Part of Jobs' master plan?

updated 04:20 pm EDT, Tue August 28, 2007

Unlocking may boost iPhone

Unlocking the iPhone may not be as bad for Apple as some have speculated, and may have actually been part of CEO Steve Jobs' plan all along. Though the company reaps significant revenue from its partnership with AT&T and the associated cut of subscriber fees, its real objective is to evoke a sea change in the wireless industry and generate revenue by selling actual handsets -- something that unlocking mechanisms will do nothing to hamper, and may actually promote. A full-blown unlocking procedure could make the iPhone as ubiquitous overseas as it is in the U.S, potentially culminating in a huge sales surge for Apple. This could, in turn, result in a sustainable profit stream that far outweighs the money generated by AT&T subscriber fees. After all, Apple is a company that primarily subsists on hardware sales -- a model that it has embraced for all recent memory, and has paid off well.

A CNET article speculates "Steve Jobs is not a dumb man. He knew that by making the iPhone exclusive, he was losing out on a significant market of people both home and abroad and his vision for the future of Apple included those that were left out. But alas, the exclusivity deal wasn't that hard to swallow. He, like all of us, knew that people would immediately start to hack the iPhone and unlock it for use on T-Mobile and other services abroad. And once that happened, the benefits could far outweigh the costs of such a hack."

The team on Friday said they also had developed a software solution to use Apple's iPhone on any any carrier network, threatening to bypass AT&T's exclusive contract with Apple and enable the device for other carrier networks such as T-Mobile in US (and GSM networks in other countries).

Meanwhile, George Hotz, the soon-to-be college student from New Jersey who unlocked the iPhone for use on wireless carriers other than AT&T via a complex hardware method that involves soldering internal components and using a number of command line utilities, has traded the unlocked device for a Nissan 350Z and three 8GB iPhones.

by MacNN Staff





  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You really think Jobs is against this? LOLOLLLLLLL!

  1. nativeNYer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Certainly possible. However, there is one area that makes me pause when considering this. SJ is such a control freak when it comes to the consumer experience with the products Apple makes that he may not really want this, since it's very unlikely the visual voicemail will work on any other network, at least right now.

    Maybe in the future, other carriers will find a way to support it, but I don't think most carriers will bother to have their engineers reverse engineer the method for delivering this function.

    Given this, an unlocked iPhone used on any other network outside of AT&T will be an incomplete experience in Jobs' eyes. That could be reason enough for him to be against this.

    OTOH, I could be completely wrong, and he may be loving this whole unlocking business.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969


    back it up

    "This could, in turn, result in a sustainable profit stream that far outweighs the money generated by AT&T subscriber fees."

    If you make a claim like that, back it up with numbers and facts. That's what a journalist would do.

  1. starwarrior

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Reading my mail??

    To old Friend:

    Of course it would happen.

    Apple always claims innocence.

    AT&T approved of safeguards. But they do not know the game.

    These things are always hacked. It is part of the hype.

    Apple sells songs for ipods but 95 percent of contents are ripped CDs.

    Their hands are clean. Genius.

    Likewise AppleTV. They sell videos. But every Blockbuster or Netflex rental is time shifted to my hard drive which drives the AppleTV.

    Works great.

    However, on this Jobs is right. Who has time to watch 500 movies more than once or twice.

    The price points are not there. It is a hobby.

    When they add a TV tuner and a DVD drive to go with the elegant software the price points will be there.

    Oops, that is the Min iMac isn't it. Works great.

    Back to Iphone.

    AT&T is simply the virus carrier. The machine will spread everywhere.

    On the stock, It went down in pre hours. Who knows the drift of the market?


    I got two and will have two more at Christmas for the boys.

    Every kid I know wants one. Just like the ipod.

    Especially when I pull it out in the car pools and high school meetings.

    It is an amazing device.

    Do you have yours?

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Movies on AppleTV?

    how do you put your blockbuster movies on your hard drive to run your appleTV?

  1. chulitomio

    Joined: Dec 1969


    movies on appletv?

    First, make sure your movies are clearly labeled "This DVD designed to power the AppleTV. Second, remove the cover of your AppleTV, and place the DVD on your hard drive and slide it left into the slot labeled "Insert Power DVDs Here." You may need to fold the DVD for a correct fit. Wait 5 minutes for the AppleTV to grind the discs, move them to the AppleTV furnace, and begin burning them. Viola, your BlockBuster Movies are running your AppleTV!

  1. dpicardi

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You must be kidding. Part of the master plan?

    No rather it is the cost of doing business. AT&T realized when they signed the papers that this was likely to happen. But to think that the head people at Apple factored this in as a part of their major strategy is ludicrous.

    If true, no major player would ever partner with Apple again and think of all the areas where Apple would be screwed if there partners did likewise.

    No count on Apple fighting this (all hacking)vigorously if only to preserve their ability to form major partnerships in the future.

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    mov -> ATV

    easy as can be to encode the videos you own for your personalized needs. Works on Mac & PC. My whole video library is sitting on an external drive thanks to this app. Simply drag the movie files to iTunes, and ATV should show them. Also, if you don't want them to be on the same drive as your iTunes, music, make sure to turn off the automatic setting under preferences. Enjoy.

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